COVID-19 Restrictions Are Bad For Both Businesses & Patrons
Published Jan. 18, 2021
outdoor dining, Gavin Newsom, COVID-19 restrictions, restaurants
By Kevin Wilkerson, PubClub.com Food Blogger
On a warm and sunny Friday afternoon in January, I decided to take a bike ride along the scenic Southern California coast of San Diego’s North County.
A friend and I started in Carlsbad with a plan of biking to Solana Beach and then catching the Coaster back to San Diego.
In Carlsbad, an upscale community full of fun people and neat Dutch-style buildings, people were sitting outside drinking coffee, having breakfast and going about their business as usual.
Oh, there were indications of the COVID shutdown, as there was no indoor dining and some places were closed. But other spots were open in a clear and defiant violation of California Governor Gavin Newsom’s “no outdoor dining” restrictions.
It was when we got to the other North County beach towns – Leucadia, Encinitas and Solana Beach – that we experienced the full impact of that rule. And that’s when I really realized how stupid a policy it is and that it needs to be reversed immediately.
For starters, my friend and I could not find any place to have lunch. We were on our bikes and don’t live there, so to-go orders didn’t suit our situation. Where would we eat it?
At one taco place, some 20 people were in line, standing inches from each other. I casually mentioned to my friend that “this must be the place for tacos here,” and a girl in line turned around and said “oh yeah; it is and it’s great.”
But my friend and I couldn’t verify because the place, The Taco Stand, had no seating. THAT is when I became frustrated and realized that it is really dumb for restaurants to be open but the government not allowing people to be able to sit down and eat their food.
I mean what are you supposed to do – eat it standing up? Go sit on the curb of a busy street? Go find a bench in a park?
With no tables, people are crowded together trying figure out where to sit down to eat and does that do anything to promote social distancing? No. And in fact it has just the opposite effect.
Add to this that there is not one single piece of evidence that sitting outside at a restaurant contributes to the spread of the virus. There was a lawsuit in Los Angeles that won and proved this, but the governor put his legal people on it and ended that peaceful protest.
In fact, the state’s health director admitted that outdoor dining does not have anything to do with spreading the virus but the outdoor dining ban is to keep people from going out in the first place.
Okay, but what about workers in construction and in other jobs who just need to grab lunch? They need a place to sit.
And people out getting exercise by riding a bike looking for a place to eat? We, too. need a place to sit!
Fortunately, my friend and I did find a place to sit down and it was awesome. I won’t mention the name of it because I don’t want to get into trouble, but we enjoyed plopping down with good food and having lunch in the warm California sunshine
The way it should be here, of course.